An offensive onslaught that included 11 made three-pointers and 12 different players scoring resulted in a 103-51 trouncing of West Georgia in the Louisville men’s basketball team’s final exhibition tuneup before the start of the 2021-22 season.
Dre Davis and Samuell Williamson led the charge by scoring 15 points apiece. Noah Locke added 13, while Matt Cross drilled 4-of-6 triples for 12 points of his own. Malik Williams, who finished with 10 points and six boards, was the fifth Cardinal to score in double figures.
The exhibition victory also served as the final sideline appearance for nearly a month for U of L head coach Chris Mack, who will be suspended for the first six games of Louisville’s 2021-22 regular season. Mack won’t return to coach the Cards until they play at Michigan State on Dec. 1. His first game back inside the KFC Yum Center won’t come until Dec. 10 when U of L hosts DePaul.
—While not exactly stellar competition, Louisville got far more out of this one than it did from last Friday’s blowout of Kentucky State. The poor Thoroughbreds had conducted just one full practice as a team before coming to the KFC Yum Center.
—Noah Locke remains rock solid. This was the third straight public showing where I’ve loved pretty much everything I’ve seen from him.
—Dre Davis, Sam Williamson or Matt Cross: Pick your poison at the three. They all have a chance to have monster seasons.
—Sydney Curry has a chance to be much more of a contributor than I thought when he originally signed with the Cards.
—Brad Colbert is your “hey, this guy can actually play meaningful minutes and knock down open shots if need be” walk-on for 2021-22. He has a mullet and his favorite authors are F. Scott Fitzgerald and Mark Titus. Renaissance man.
—If we could combine Jarrod West’s steadiness and El Ellis’ explosiveness, we’d have one hell of a point guard. The two of them splitting time have the potential to be just fine as is.
—Sam Williamson was knocked to the ground two times, and Sam Williamson was immediately helped up by teammates two times. People are watching.
—Louisville has now won 39 consecutive exhibition games, a streak which dates back to an 87-86 double overtime loss to Global Sports at Freedom Hall on Dec. 2, 2000.
—You’re always playing a risky game when you try to garner anything overly significant from exhibition games, but it’s impossible to be disappointed by what we’ve seen from the Cards over the last five days. It may not always be a work of art, especially early, but the promise of the return of an exciting brand of basketball to The Ville is going to be made good on.
—The beautiful journey begins anew in six days.
—The Mike Pegues era starts now.